Ian McKellen, who turned 83 on May 25, 2022, is one of the most admired actors in Hollywood, having spent more than three decades in the film industry and charming fans with his incredible acting.
Born in Burnley, England, in 1939, McKellen rose to popularity in the British theater and later on the silver screen. He's a staunch advocate for gay rights and co-founded the LGBT rights organization Stonewall.
What cemented Mckellen to much greater stardom were his legendary roles as Wizard Gandalf in "The Lord of the Rings" franchise and Magneto in the "X-Men" films, where he starred alongside actor and longtime friend Patrick Stewart.
Ian McKellen walking through Piccadilly Circus during Pride in London 2019 on July 06, 2019 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
HOW DID IAN MCKELLEN AND PATRICK STEWART BECOME FRIENDS?
Stewart has worked in the industry for five decades and has been notable for his shared bromance with McKellen. However, their friendship did not begin instantly.
Stewart said they didn't get close until they worked together on the 2000 film "X-Men," where he famously played Professor X, opposite McKellen's character. Both played in the movie with actors Halle Berry and Hugh Jackman.
Recalling their early days on the set, Stewart said they began to warm up slowly and shared afternoon teas in their adjoining trailers. After they went out for more drinks, they started to know each other deeply.
"And the charm of it was that we found that we had so much in common," Stewarts said. McKellen and the 81-year-old actor have been inseparable friends ever since.
In the following years, the award-winning British actor and Stewart have been proudly flaunting their enviable friendship in public, to the point that they even got "engaged."
It wasn't the first time both actors shared a kiss before a crowd. They also shared a smooch during the premiere of "Mr. Holmes" in 2015, where McKellen portrayed a senior detective.
McKellen once persuaded Stewart not to take a "Star Trek" role because he thought the film's future was questionable.
Aside from hitting the red carpet together, the dynamic duo continues to celebrate their unshakable friendship by going on food trips, traveling to beautiful places, and reading books together occasionally.
The Hollywood legends are always looking out for one another, especially in the middle of the pandemic. The situation did not stop McKellen from expressing his love for the "Charlie's Angels" actor.
During lockdown, Stewart spent most of his time reading beautiful sonnets for his fans on Twitter. Since he loves to read delightful verses, McKellen sent his best buddy a sweet sonnet for his 80th birthday.
IAN MCKELLEN ONCE ADVISED PATRICK STEWART NOT TO TAKE THE ROLE OF JEAN-LUC PICARD IN STAR TREK
McKellen once persuaded Stewart not to take a "Star Trek" role because he thought the film's future was questionable. Stewart ended up playing Captain Jean Luc Picard.
Stewart's iconic character solidified his reputation in the industry, despite his friend's stern warning. McKellen said that his best friend had already forgiven him for his poor career advice.